Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Julie D'Aubigny

Even though its skill system is horribly clunky and every game I run seems destined (cursed?) to fall apart, I still have a deep and abiding love for the 7th Sea role-playing game. Much of these love is due to the fact that not only can the system adequately model a person like Julie D'Aubigny, but she would also make a perfectly viable player character concept or a splendidly frustrating recurring NPC foil.

This happens, like, every other game session in 7th Sea. 

Julie D'Aubigny was a 17th-century bisexual French opera singer and fencing master who killed or wounded at least ten men in life-or-death duels, performed nightly shows on the biggest and most highly-respected opera stage in the world, and once took the Holy Orders just so that she could sneak into a convent and bang a nun. If nothing in that sentence at least marginally interests you, I have no idea why you're visiting this website.

Go read the rest of the article, it's amazing.

What I find remarkable is that, despite all of her promiscuity, she apparently never had any children. While some may point to this as evidence of contraceptives or herbal abortificants, I prefer to think that she was so badass that no merely mortal sperm could penetrate her eggs to fertilize them. It would take someone like Superman, or at least Sean Connery, to impregnate her.

On the other hand, it is a bit of a pity that she never had heirs, because how awesome would it be to have her as an ancestress?

But perhaps they could exist in the realm of myth and legend. After all, doesn't this title seem perfectly plausible?

"And here is the story of how I impregnated Julie d'Aubigny,"  by Baron von Münchhausen.


  1. Okay, you had me at "once took the Holy Orders just so that she could sneak into a convent and bang a nun". That's 'couldn't get published for being too 'out there'' level badassitude.

  2. Just for the record, I'm pretty sure there's a not-very-freaking-fine line between "admirably assertive" and "bugfuck nuts".

    (OTOH, if this is your thing, I could forward you the "let me write guest posts for your blog" spam from the BDSM dating site.)

  3. Sean Connery was in Spain at the time, so no wonder.  Wearing peacock feathers, if rumors are true...

  4.  Remember though. This is the 17th century. They had different standards and ideals, some which may seem egoistic, nihilistic and sometimes insane to us.

    Julie d'Aubigny was, to put it simply, one of the most successful bravos/swashbucklers of her time. An otherwise very male "career", which relied on bravery, wit, swordsmanship and more than your fair share of dash.
    Not as skilled with the blade as André Wernesson de Liancourt (under whom she supposedly studied for a time), but skilled enough and with a lot more dash.

    P.S: Characters like the three musketeers aren't grasped out of thin air either (but at least loosely based on very real musketeers). And if you think of Julie as a female Porthos a lot of things will make a lot more sense.

  5. That she was noted for being an... unusual person, and remembered for some three centuries as such, suggests most folks though she was bugfuck nuts back then, too.

    I'll need to reread The Three Musketeers to be sure, but I don't recall Porthos gutting-then-balling people on a regular basis (the nunnery raid would have been in character though).

  6.  That was an exaggeration on the part of the badassoftheweek authors.
    One of the versions of the story is that she got into an argument with one of a trio of noblemen in the taproom of a local establishment. As his friends tried to restrain her she stabbed stabbed one of them through the shoulder (not the abdomen).
    Another is that she had a duel with all three of them, and stabbed one of them through the shoulder.
    Anyway, when she inquired about the friends health the next day she heard that he was the Comte d'Albert, heir of the Duke of Luynes.
    Possibly feeling guilty about whole thing she, as an apology, offered to take care of him as he regained his health (very much in the spirit of the times). During that time they began an affair. Julie fell madly in love with him, and they had an on/off romance which flared on several occasions in her life.
    While Julie accepted that as a man of the times Louis-Joseph d'Albert would have other lovers she was a VERY jealous woman, and not above making very nasty threats to any woman she percieved was getting to close to her Louis-Joseph. For example: after Loius-Joseph made a closer acquaintance with the Duchess of Luxemberg Julie visited the Duchess while she was praying in the church, Julie promised to gut the duchess if she ever found out that Louis had visited her boudoir again. The threat became moot at Louis-Joseph got imprisoned shortly afterwards for illegal dueling.
    It was his marriage to Mademoiselle Montigny shortly after being released from prison that drove Julie d'Aubigny to become a nun at the age of 35 (and she died 2 years later).

  7. He wasn't her only mad love affair. Supposedly she almost commited suicide after being rejected by fellow opera singer Francoise Moreau (then mistress of the Grand Dauphin, the heir of france).

  8.  "Supposedly it was his marriage to Mademoiselle Montigny shortly after being released from prison that drove Julie d'Aubigny to become a nun"

    Or she'd discovered that she liked the target rich environment. [grin]

    Yep. And the South Beach Face-Eater is perfectly normal, once you consider him in the proper 21st century context. Maybe he'll join the priesthood.

  9.  No. The South beach face-eater isn't normal by our standards. We view him as crazy and his behavior is deviant by any applied standards. It's not normal to chew on someones face. Especially not when they're alive.

    On the hand there are very few things that separate Julie d'Aubigny from several other celebrated individuals during her age. Except her gender. Noblemen were expected to duel at the drop of a hat. They were expected to have mad love affairs. They were expected to be witty, brash, talented and absolutely fearless in pursuit of whatever goal they set before them.

  10. So she's notorious for being a perfectly normal guy. Gotcha.

    Lighten up. I figured Erin posted the link to this account for the humor value, not because it's a scholarly historical treatise (correct me if I'm wrong).

    I apologize for poking fun at one of your personal heroes.

  11. La Maupin is one of the greats, that's for damned sure. Up there with the likes of Michaelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Donald McBane, and Grace O'Malley.

  12. Hey, if you dig Julie D'Aubigny there is a really great novel about her by Theophile Gautier called Mademoiselle de Maupin.  Well worth your time.

  13. I've heard the novel isn't so accurate, but lots of fun.


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